Cigna, Usablenet Roll Out Mobile Directory of Doctors, Pharmacies

Cigna members can use the Usablenet-powered mobile portal to locate doctors or pharmacies and research drug prices.

Health plan provider Cigna says its mobile Website, powered by Usablenet, now allows members to search locations of medical facilities and research information on prescriptions.

Cigna Mobile allows customers to locate care centers, physicians, specialists and pharmacies using a mobile GPS feature. The site also allows users to search for real-time medication prices at 60,000 pharmacies in the United States.

"With Cigna Mobile, you are no longer tethered to a computer to find answers for critical questions such as locating the best doctor for you in your health plan network, determining what medications are specifically covered under your plan or finding an urgent care facility when you need care right away," said James Nastri, Cigna's vice president of product and service transparency, in a statement.

You can search for health care resources on the go with a Web-enabled mobile phone and speed-dial Cigna's service team and nurses for assistance, Nastri added.

Usablenet helps companies in various industries such as health care, travel and retail to translate their Websites to mobile. Customers include Aetna, CVS and Walgreens in health care; Amtrak in travel; and Staples and OfficeMax in retail.

Acting as an emulator, Usablenet allows corporate Websites to support Web application development tools such as AJAX and Dojo, Jason Taylor, Usablenet's vice president of global product strategy, told eWEEK. It converts the advanced Web tool into a basic mode the mobile browser can handle, he said.

"It acts as a proxy between the original Website and the mobile phone and rewrites the page on the fly," Taylor said. He described Usablenet as a managed service connecting the mobile browser and the Website. Typing directs users to a mobile view of the site, he said.

"There are not that many good services online in the health care space for the mobile user, and I think [the Cigna Mobile site is] a reflection of recognizing that mobile is going to be a primary way they're going to communicate with their customers," Taylor said.

More and more companies in health care are launching mobile tools for customers.

On Oct. 20, medical software company Epocrates announced that it will integrate Walgreens' Prescription Savings Club (PSC) formulary list into its mobile applications. In addition, Walgreens sends SMS text alerts to customers when their medications are ready for pickup.

"As more and more Americans are accessing the Web through their mobile phones, it is clear that mobile is a massive opportunity for health service companies to allow medical professionals and consumers to seamlessly access core services from all mobile phones, wherever they may be," Nick Taylor, Usablenet's president, said in a statement.